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Expect Higher Usage Due to Weather

Your February 7th bill is for your electric usage January 1-31st.

Although the weather was mild at the end of January, it was much colder at the beginning of the month. Many of our members saw higher than normal bills for December’s usage because of the cold snap that began just after Christmas. Those bitterly cold temperatures continued through the first part of January, and after a small relief, hit us again mid month.

Most winters we don’t see below freezing temperatures that come to stay for so many consecutive days.

With temperatures like we’ve seen, your heating system has had to work hard to keep your home warm. Some systems never shut off for days at a time. Many members used space heaters, electric fireplaces, or electric blankets to help ward off the cold. Most also had increased use of television, lights, cooking and more because they stayed home rather than going out.

Add it all up and those cold temperatures have led to higher than average electric usage, and a higher than average bill.  

If you want to learn more about how the temperature affected your usage you can view detailed usage information about your home online.

To access the information visit our Online Bill Pay site. If you haven’t used it before you’ll need to register. (You won’t have to pay online to see your usage.)

After you have registered and logged on select Billing History.

Then click the blue SmartHub link located on far right side of the next screen to visit our Smart Hub site where you can view your monthly, daily or hourly usage.

Note: The online bill pay website is getting a new look February 7th. We apologize if the screen looks different – we will update this article as soon as possible.

Tips to Save

Lower your thermostat- try lowering it just one degree at a time to allow your body time to adjust.
Lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees.
Be aware of the power use of humidifiers.
Be aware of the power usage of electric space heaters. See an article in February's Connect to MEC.
Replace dirty furnace filters.
Be sure fireplace dampers are closed when not in use.
Winterize doors/windows with caulk, weatherstripping, or window film to prevent leaks.
Open drapes during the day to take advantage of the sun and close them at night.
When bulbs need replaced choose LED.
Unplug items that use power even when not in use, like phone chargers. Be aware of other items that use power continuously, such as anything with a clock, automatic timer, or that uses a remote.
Use appliances efficiently: Wash full loads of laundry on cold; Fill the dishwasher and choose only needed settings; unplug unneeded small appliances when not in use.

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